Victims are crucial participants in the criminal justice system. Oftentimes, prosecutors could not convict offenders without the testimony of victims at grand jury hearings and trials. As a victim, participation in the criminal justice process takes a physical, emotional and financial toll.
I look forward to this time of the year. The Holidays remind me of my many blessings. From my daughters, chosen family, and friends, to simpler things like the healing power of music or the joy of waking up to the crisp smell of an autumn day, there is so much for which I’m grateful.
Konrad Kircher is a Cincinnati attorney and a major supporter of Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center. Konrad has built his practice around securing civil damages for victims of sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Konrad has also worked on Title IX retaliation cases and civil rights litigation. He has litigated these issues to the highest court in Ohio, and he has established a statewide reputation for helping victims get justice in civil courts.
Victims of domestic violence are often not aware of safety options when they are under stress. A criminal protection order can be issued during the life of a criminal case with the victim stating they are fearful of the abusive party. This request is not automatic in various courts. The victim can tell the arresting officer, or appear at the arraignment hearing and request a Protection Order against the offending party.
When a domestic violence victim arrives at the hospital, there are certain best practices medical personnel should follow to assist the victim. These practices are contained in the Ohio Domestic Violence Protocol for Healthcare Providers. The Protocol calls for every patient to be screened for domestic violence, in private. This allows for medical personnel to look for red flags in a patient’s statement or history to identify potential victims. If there is abuse, the healthcare provider should ask the patient about their safety and offer the patient resources.
Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in communities across Ohio and the nation. Domestic violence can impact anyone. Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States have suffered physical violence from a partner. Domestic violence victims experience trauma and emotional injury in addition to their physical injuries. Domestic violence often leaves victims financially insecure and abusers often isolate their victims to eliminate family support, as well.
Crime victims who are deaf or hard of hearing encounter many specific barriers not typically encountered by the hearing when attempting to report crimes, receive victim services, or seek justice in the criminal justice system.
Crime victims who are deaf or hard of hearing may not report crimes for a variety of reasons, including that the process of reporting crimes is not accessible to them, that they fear they will not be believed, or that they believe nothing will happen after they report the crime.
JoAnne Aubrey has spent many years working to help victims of domestic violence. Her own experience with domestic violence has caused her to speak out for victims and give back to her community. As a former domestic relations attorney, JoAnne comes to Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center with a special set of skills that have been invaluable in assisting the organization.
Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing have numerous special rights during the criminal justice process. These rights are designed to ensure that persons who are deaf or hard of hearing have access to the criminal justice process and system. Some of those rights are laid out in the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and others come from state law.